Fingerprints

Hallelujah, Malachi’s seizures have slowed down! He is down to having 2-3 a day and hasn’t been having any at night while he sleeps. The more consistent sleep has done wonders for him, and definitely made a positive impact on mommy.

This week the local group helping prep for Malachi and Levi’s playground was hard at work, which gave the kids some great entertainment. Levi is scared of loud noises and Malachi is fascinated by them. This photo is a pretty good example.

As you can see, the project has changed a bit from the original plan haha! Originally we were going to put the playground tucked into the woods in the side yard. After looking at the site the group suggested they build up an area closer to the house and fashioned this amazing side nook built just for the playset.

After the nook was fashioned they noticed a tree that looked like it might die soon close by and offered to uproot it with the gear they already had onsite, and Jake and I happily agreed. After the tree came up it left a giant 6 foot hole so after lots of dirt moving and graveling we widened the driveway significantly to add parking for our Bible studies. What a hidden blessing we have received!!

I think they are planning on starting the construction of the playground this week, and my boys are so excited. Quality of life is so important to us for our Malachi. Knowing that he can get a few years on a playground built with him in mind before he gets too large to maneuver makes my heart happy. We hold tightly to “typical” recognizing that in a few years it will be harder to attain anything that resembles typical.

We are also very excited about inviting some other local special friends over to use the set! There is a huge difference between handicap accessible and caregiver friendly.

Totally changing gears, during one of our nightly games of baseball Malachi (with daddy’s help) accidentally hit Levi in the eye with the ball.

It swelled shut immediately and we expected a black eye, but it never came. Malachi laughed hysterically, just like a big brother would. And after the initial shock of getting hit, he joined Malachi in the laughter- truly overjoyed to see Malachi so happy.

This sweet photo popped up this week from when Malachi was 2 years old so we recreated it this week at therapy. It is so wild to think that he will be turning 8 this week. What an adventure we have been on! I will save the sappy post for next week’s entry.

We have been working through some red tape with his homeschooling plan for the year. To recap just a bit, we pulled him out of the public school system and enrolled in program that takes the money he is typically given for his public school education and puts it on a debit card to be used for very specific educational expenses. They are extremely strict, and all purchases and services have to be pre-approved. We finally got some green lights this week and are able to get some resources to help with learning! I will share some of those things in the near future with you all, but in summary this was a BIG win for us this week.

And a very special thank you to whomever left an anonymous meal on our porch this week. It was very unexpected and so kind! And kudos in disguising yourself well enough that we couldn’t identify you on the cameras haha!

We are cautious about sharing things with you that will generate negativity, but we have re-opened the basement to start back with our weekly Bible studies. This is a God driven move on our part, and whenever God calls us to do something we do so in boldness and without fear.

The boys stay upstairs with one of us while the other leads the basement Bible study. Jake has a group of men that come on Saturday evenings and we rotate small groups with our youth each Sunday night (middle school, high school, girls, and boys). I am back to cooking for the crew, but instead of cooking for 40 the groups are more like 15-20 teens each week.

In our area things are pretty much business as usual. The kids are back in school (completely maskless). Sports are running without limitations. We are keeping the kids locked down still, and not taking them into public settings. We alternate who goes to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and do our best to socially distance ourselves and mask up. And yes, Jake and I will both be getting the vaccine when it becomes available in our area.

I have started the devotional three times now, each time deleting the section after about 45 minutes of staring at it. They have all felt “Leah driven”, something that I try very hard to stay away from.

So I am going to start typing and we will just see what He wants to write…

This week Malachi and I have been having some good late night talks. With his birthday coming up he likes to hear stories about him as a baby. Unfortunately those stories are hard to tell, and bring up some buried emotions each time I talk to him about it.

One late night this week I was talking to Malachi about miracles, and explaining how God has done so many miracles in his life. The conversation stemmed from an old video we had watched of Levi when he was a baby squeaking with each breath. I told both of the boys that God had given Levi a miracle; He had done something only God can do. When I said that I watched Malachi’s face drop a bit in jealousy. So later that evening we started talking about his miracles.

Each time I told him something that God had done in his life he beamed with pure joy. I loved seeing him so happy, so I kept the miracle list going. We talked about all the things doctors said he would never do, and how God has helped Malachi do so many things that shock the doctors. By the end of our list Malachi was smiling from ear to ear and my heart was feeling warm and full.

I so easily get bogged down by the miracles we still lack. But spending time reflecting on the miracles we have already so graciously been given drew me into the arms of God that night.

We are so blessed. And I am ashamed that some days I don’t see life through that lens.

Let me encourage you to start a list this week. What are things that have happened in your life that only God could do. What are your miracles? I bet your list is larger than you think.

When you take a realistic look at your successes in life you will find God’s fingerprints all over them. Oh, how many times our pride can allow us to miss those fingerprints.

This week we will be celebrating one of God’s masterpieces…Malachi Carroll.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Fearfully and wonderfully made. I hope this week that those words meet your soul where they are needed the most.

Much love,

Leah

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